Oh, Faking It, what even just happened? That was such a mixed bag of an episode, I hardly know how to sort good from bad. Hell, I can hardly tell good from bad lately, because my shields—like those of everyone else writing about queer representation on the internet—are up so goddamn high. It is a period of flux, of redefining our priorities, and of deciding which types of representation are good (enough) for us. Faking It may not always give us the answers we want to those questions, but it always positions itself right at the tip of the cultural spear—and whether it’s going in the right direction or the wrong one, it will get there first.
So previously, after the release of Karma’s embarrassing video and Amy’s (infinitely more) embarrassing diary, the besties decided to part ways. And, sad though it was to see them walking away from each other, it seemed like a necessary break to help each of them to develop and to remember just what it is that made them friends in the first place (scorching sexual chemistry, obvs). This week, we get to see a little of that, a few groundbreaking strides in representation, and a whole lot of the straight dudes getting exactly what they want.
We open with Amy trying to distract herself from Karma’s absence in time-honored queer fashion: with an electric sander.
THE HITACHI JUST ISN’T POWERFUL ENOUGH FOR ME ANYMORE.
JK she’s refinishing furniture, which she learned a lot about “from the lesbians this summer.” So I get it, ha ha, lesbians love crafts and flannel. I can take a joke. But jokes seem to be the only things our specific demographic gets these days. I mean, granted, the central relationship of this show concerns the will-they-or-won’t-they romance between two girls, but even if they do get together, neither of them are “lesbians” as such. And as much as I love and value representation of all stripes, and have a lot of nice things to say about their inclusion in this episode, I’m also concerned with the specific demographic of lesbian.
Thus far, Faking It has had one significant lesbian character, Reagan.
And here are some facts about Reagan:
So, that’s a whole bunch of stereotypes packed into one character. Meanwhile, the show is packed with non-lesbian characters who defy convention. Shane and his revolving door of men get to represent so many facets of the gay male experience. Lauren is no more defined by being intersex than by beauty pageants. I have no problem with the continued evolution of Amy’s character, except insofar as the writers’ refusal to label her has made her a soccer ball to be kicked back and forth. But Lord, it does seem like every single demographic gets a fairer deal with this show than the one demographic it needs to try hardest not to offend.
Farrah puts the kibosh on the furniture refinishing, since she read somewhere that lead paint can exacerbate lesbianism. Deprived of her sawdust, Amy decides to continue working her way down the “queer hobby checklist” and make a documentary film.
OH, THAT EXACERBATES LESBIANISM TOO.